New York City Urban Field Station

Urban Waters

The NYC Urban Field Station, as part of the USDA Forest Service, partners with other federal agencies in the Urban Waters Federal Partnership program. Current foci of this Urban Waters partnership in the NYC area include the Bronx and Harlem River Watersheds and the Passaic River Watershed.


Recent accomplishments for these watersheds are available at

Both of these rivers and surrounding waterfront communities are included in a Connecting with Our Waterwaysreport, co-authored by the New York / New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) staff and USDA Forest Service researchers at the NYC Urban Field Station. Connecting with Our Waterways includes assessments of community need, civic stewardship capacity, and current waterfront access in the HEP core water area. Building on the previous work of STEW-MAP in New York City, this study documents the critical contributions of waterfront-focused civic stewardship organizations to waterfront access, education, conservation, advocacy, management, and monitoring.


[photo:] Rich Hallet log rolling on Harlem River.  Photo by Jerry Willis.

In October 2012, Urban Field Station (UFS) staff participated in a weeklong Celebration of the Harlem River. During the week, UFS staff helped conservation educator Tamberly Conway with an educational water cycle activity for local South Bronx middle school students. At the weekend “Party on the River,” the UFS led an educational mural painting activity for local residents and provided a logrolling demonstration followed by a wood chopping demonstration by the SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen team. The week’s events were led by the Harlem River Working Group and supported by members of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership Harlem River pilot location (including the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency and US Forest Service). 



Boicourt, Kate; Pirani, Robert; Johnson, Michelle; Svendsen, Erika; Campbell, Lindsay K. 2016. Connecting with our waterways: an assessment of public access and stewardship in the New York - New Jersey Harbor Estuary. New York, NY: NY-NJ Harbor and Estuary Program; and Hudson River Foundation. 36 p.